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2012-03-05 07:54

OZ GP A WRITE-OFF? The 2012 season opening Grand Prix could be a battle between Red Bull and McLaren as Ferrari's technical director Pat Fry and driver Fernando Alonso doubt the Italian team's performance.

BARCELONA, Spain - Ferrari technical director Pat Fry has admitted that the Italian team will struggle to make the podium at the season-opening Australian Formula 1 GP.

Fry was speaking after the final pre-season test eneded at Montmelo, in the hills above Barcelona. The four-day session saw former World champion Fernando Alonso achieve only the fifth-fastest time of 1min22.250 from an exhausting 240 laps.

Team mate Felipe Massa was ninth on the time sheets with 1min22.413 after 227 laps.


Kimi Raikkonen, in a Lotus, was fastest overall with Sergio Perez  (Sauber), Jenson Button (McLaren) and Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) all finishing ahead of the lavishly funded Ferraris.

Fry said: "In the hunt for the podium in Melbourne? At the moment I'd say no. We have been disappointed by the performance at these tests and I think we have a lot of work ahead. Clearly the decision relating to the exhausts that we took last week meant we took a few steps backwards in terms of development.

"How much? Difficult to say right now. In testing, you can only make assumptions regarding what fuel loads the other cars are running. It will only be in Melbourne that we will get a clear answer about whether we have to be very disappointed - or just a little.

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